It’s pretty easy to see how one might get lost in a video game when the real word is too boring, complicated, hard, or otherwise unappealing. According to new research, that’s the case for boys with autism spectrum disorders or ADHD.
A new study published in Paediatrics by researchers at the Thompson Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorders compared the video game habits of boys 8-18, looking at boys with autism, boys with ADHD, and boys with typical development. Boys with autism or ADHD spent double the amount of time playing video games than other boys, with typical boys spending an average of an hour per day and those with autism or ADHD spending around two hours per day. However, the study didn’t factor in time spent on TV, internet, tablets, or smartphones, likely making total screen time much higher.
Interestingly, boys with autism or ADHD are more likely to have game systems in their room (43%) than boys with regular development (12%). Also of interested, boys with regular development are likely to play first person shooters and sports game, but boys with ADHD or autism are likely to favour action games or role-playing games.
That said, researchers say that there’s no reason to blame the games themselves; it could simply be that boys with developmental problems are more drawn to games, rather than games causing some of their problems.